Guests 2

Part 1

by Stephen

The Bowen family is a very Trinity family, in other words, on the surface seems ideal. They all seem to get on and everyone seems happy, but in actual fact, there's a great deal of old fashioned gender typing going on. Carter Bowen is very much a man's man, and consequently Eda seems to occupy a lower status in the family, and Poppy (for a 15 year old) is very childlike. He tries to carry the burdens of the whole family upon his own shoulders, almost as if he doesn't trust the women to do what he's doing. Despite the massive pressures that he's put under by Lucas, he does not help his own cause by bottling it up, and brushing off any efforts by his wife to find out why he's so stressed. He even tries to guard Gail from knowing about Wash's fate ('he's unavailable') rather than tell a woman about the terrible things that have happened. Even when he lets his disgust at Lucas's actions slip ('Damn that Buck' when in the hospital) , he soon covers it up and tries to carry all his concerns for the family entirely on his own.

As a result of Carter's excessive protectiveness (even his wife calls him 'Daddy' when in the basement!) Poppy is very much a little a girl. (Compare with Caleb who is 5 years younger, yet much more adult. Gage wasn't exactly an over protective father like Carter). She seems to miss Lucas's (not exactly subtle) implications over her father's involvement with Wash's daughter. She childishly chats of ice-lollies, AGain oblivious to her father's problems, and is attracted to a very fatherly figure. (If she is 15, and Wash knows about her despite being inside for 17 years, he must have kept contact with Carter)

Like her husband, Eda is a very conservative person (shown by the fact that she doesn't want Wash in her house despite the fact he'd not done anything AGainst her family). Probably due to Carter's mindset, she is very submissive and an old fashioned housewife. It is interesting to note that despite this conservatism, she is very much a Buckophile, and is grateful for the help he gave Carter. She therefore knows that before they met, Carter DID have something with Wash's daughter.

Without wanting to be nasty to an obviously nice guy, but TJ is a very simple person. His life's ambition adds up to wanting to own a scrapyard in a small town, and is happy to set up roots in the place that he's always been and not to see the world. I can't believe he can't tell the pressure that Lucas is putting on Carter in the meal scene in the Bowen house. Carter is clearly very grateful for the deal he initially made with Lucas, and TJ would know this. Why then can't he tell that this deal is coming back to haunt him, or is he just blinded by simple ambition and greed when offered a deal by Lucas?

Without wanting to go into the larger issue of if it is even Wash who turn up in Trinity, and not some Lucas-sent apparition to haunt Carter, it is obvious that is a local legend, and has become a scare-story which children use. The children's song is vaguely reminiscent of the harbingers of doom that are the children in the original Nightmare On Elm Street.

'Sutpen the junkman
Something in your head
Send you down the hallway
To catch them in the bed
Nobody will ever know
What it was they said
Before you loaded up your gun
And you shot them......Dead.'

Even when the kids are playing in the junkyard at the start, they try to scare each other with 'Sutpen's gonna get you'.

Although obviously hardened by his years in prison, the 'kindred spirit' between Carter and Wash is obvious. Through their conservatism, they both took the law into their own hands with disastrous consequences. In many ways though, Wash is the more honourable person. For a man deprived of female contact for so long, and in the knowledge of Carter's actions with his own daughter, his actions can be explained, even if they can't be excused. Carter, on the other hand is a complete hypocrite. He is getting mad at Wash for what he himself did (and with less reason, if there can be such a thing).

One last thing - How did they find an actor as leathery as the guy who played Wash? If you look, there is no 'No animals were harmed in the making of this program' disclaimer. They probably had to skin a good three of four herd of cattle in order to get him to look like that.

Stephen (the man with the smoothest skin you'd ever see. No carcasses near me.)


Billy PeeleBen HealySelena CoombsThe Also-RansGail EmoryFloydThe Flint GangGuests 1Merlyn TempleGuests 2Matt CrowerCaleb TempleLucas Buck

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1. August 2002